Applications are: closed

Our Vacation Placements, whether virtual or on-house, are the perfect introduction to Pinsent Masons if you would like to be considered for one of our Training Contracts. We design, structure and develop the placement programme to give you an experience which is practical and enjoyable whilst authentically reflecting the Trainee Solicitor experience. Working alongside Trainees and qualified Solicitors on real client projects, you’ll enjoy structured work-based learning, skills training and presentations.

The facts speak for themselves. A good 60% of our Trainees regularly join us after experiencing our work environment first-hand over a summer placement. It’s by far the best way for you to get to know us, and for us get to know you.

For many people, a Vacation Placement presents the first opportunity to work in a professional organisation and environment. We make sure that first step is an easy one with a day one induction. You’ll be welcomed to the Firm (perhaps virtually!) and encouraged to make the most of every opportunity.

You’ll experience what it’s like to be part of the Pinsent Masons team and get the chance to make a great first impression. You’ll also get the opportunity to develop transferable professional skills, building your confidence along the way. It’s also a great opportunity to get a feel for the social scene, make friends and start building a useful network of contacts for the rest of your career.

If 2021 sees us return to our traditional delivery of placements, we anticipate that our placement dates will be as follows, although these may be subject to change:

Placement 1: Monday 14 to Friday 25 June 2021 (TBC)
Placement 2: Monday 5 to Friday 16 July 2021 (TBC)

Our in-house placements are full time i.e. 35 hours per week and may not be suitable for candidates with restricted work permits.  We don’t offer ad hoc placements or work experience opportunities, so you must make sure you’re available for the full placement during the above dates.

Our virtual placements are more flexible and ideal for candidates who are not able to join in-house placements for one or more reasons. This development really supports our commitment to widening access to the legal profession and we strongly encourage you to visit our open-access Virtual Work Experience Programme if you are unable to participate in our in-house Vacation Placement.

Candidates applying for our 2021 Vacation Placement programme will be informed in advance if the internship is being moved online.

If you want to find out more about the placements before applying, why not come and meet us at one of our events? You’ll find dates and details in our events calendar.

We believe placements should be paid as, while you are with us, you will be making a valuable contribution to our business. We also recognise that undertaking placements can mean incurring costs for travel and accommodation. That is why we pay our Vacation Placement students a competitive rate of pay while at the firm.

Our 2021 Vacation Placement salaries are yet to be confirmed but for our last in-house placement during summer 2019 they were:

English regional offices: £325 per week
London office: £375 per week

Entry requirements

UCAS points

from your best three A-levels or equivalent.
This equates to 300 UCAS points under the previous tariff


predicted or attained in your undergraduate degree.

or penultimate

apply in your penultimate year (law) or final year (non-law) onwards.

If you don’t meet the above criteria but there are mitigating circumstances that explain why you’ve failed to meet the minimum academic requirements, there’s an opportunity for you to include this information in your application.

Please be aware, if a vacancy becomes oversubscribed, we will close applications before the stated deadline. We recommend you submit your full application as early as possible.

Vacation Placement to Training Contract

We hope your Vacation Placement experience will fuel your interest in joining the firm as a Trainee Solicitor. So, during your placement we’ll ask you to take a final assessment for a Training Contract. This will involve preparing and presenting a SWOT analysis, followed by an interview regarding your presentation and your placement experience. We’ll also get feedback from your practice group and, if you meet our core capabilities and perform well throughout both the assessments and the placement, we’ll offer you a Training Contract.

If you gain a placement, it’s because we already see you as a potential Trainee. And during the time you spend with us, we’ll do our best to give you every chance to prove us right. That’s why Vacation Placement students don’t need to make a separate application for our Training Contract programme. In our eyes you’re already in the running.

What we believe makes a great Trainee


We’re a commercial law firm, so you’ll have a genuine interest in how business works. That means keeping up-to-date with the latest business issues, as well as appreciating how legal expertise can support and steer commercial organisations.


You’ll need to combine a real desire to be the best with the energy, ambition and enthusiasm to go the extra mile to succeed. With a can-do attitude, you’re always open to learning from your experience, so you can be even better next time.


With the self-assurance to voice your own opinions and defend your point of view when you need to, you’ll be a convincing and persuasive communicator. But you’ll also have the self-awareness to ask for help when you need it.


With a conscientious approach, you’ll have the ability to read and absorb large amounts of reference material and spot errors quickly. You’ll be a stickler for detail when it comes to your own writing too, ensuring it’s always clear and accurate.


You’ve the intellectual curiosity to explore new approaches and ask others’ opinions, With an analytical approach, you think things through and weigh up the implications, but also have the capacity to think on your feet to find solutions.


You understand that taking responsibility for your successes and acknowledging when things go wrong will help you to constantly improve and achieve your career aims. By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, you give others confidence in your abilities.


You understand priorities and monitor your progress towards set objectives. By being well-organised and planning and managing your work efficiently, you make sure you always deliver quality work on time.


You’ll be approachable, outgoing and confident engaging with people from different backgrounds and experiences to your own. Whether you’re communicating with colleagues or clients, you’ll understand the need to adapt your message to suit your audience.

Hear from those who’ve been on a placement

Our recruitment process

We’ve designed our application process to ensure you’ll know the outcome in no more than three months after the application deadline. The below shows a typical recruitment and selection process. This may be subject to change for the 2021 vacation placement programme depending on government guidelines and restrictions in relation to COVID-19. You’ll be given full details of the process in relation to your own recruitment as appropriate.

Want to know more?

We’re inviting interested applicants to meet us prior to submitting an application by attending one of our events. Details of all upcoming events can be found in our events calendar.

In the meantime, why not follow us on our social media channels where you can receive up-to-date news from the firm and find out more about developments across the legal sector.

If you’ve any other questions relating to this programme, take a look through these frequently asked questions. If you still have a question that needs answering, email us at

Frequently asked questions

If we offer you a Vacation Placement programme, we’ll automatically consider you for a Training Contract at the firm and your placement will include Training Contract assessments. If you don’t gain a Vacation Placement, you’ll need to wait until the following year to apply for either a Vacation Placement or Training Contract.

The programme runs over a two-week period in the English and Belfast offices, and over three weeks in the Scottish offices. Each office typically has two intakes of Vacation Placement students, starting in June and July.

Yes, in 2019 Vacation Placement students were paid £375 per week in London, £325 per week in the English regional offices, £325 in Scotland and £315 in Northern Ireland. Salaries are reviewed annually.

We’ll ask you to tell us your top three practice group preferences and we’ll do our best to place you in one of them. However, from time to time, it may be difficult to achieve this due to commercial reasons.

No, we don’t offer Vacation Placements to first year students unless you’re on the accelerated (two-year) LLB or equivalent. If you’re a first-year student, we’d encourage you to develop your legal knowledge by attending campus events and insight evenings or through gaining some commercial experience.

Our Hong Kong office offers a Vacation Placement, but this is only available if you’re looking to train and qualify in Hong Kong. Although we don’t offer Vacation Placements in any of our other international offices, we do offer a work-shadow placement scheme in Dubai.

Applications are: closed